tv The News Hour With Jim Lehrer PBS October 2, 2009 6:00pm-7:00pm EDT
>> lehrer: good evening, i'm jim lehrer. on the newshour this friday, losses the lead story, the u.s. unemployment rate climbs to 9.8%. margaret warner looks at what the numbers mean. then, the other news of the day. ray suarez reports on rio's victory over chicago in the big sweepstakes for the 2016 olympics. health correspondent betty ann bowser reviews the senate finance committee's health-care proposals. congress comes closer to health-care reform than ever before. i'll be back with the story. >> lehrer: then, mark shields and david brooks offer their weekly analysis. and jeffrey brown tells the story of actress annette benning's return to the stage. >> i feel really lucky that i'm able to pursue the work that i love. i want my children to see that.
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wachovia securities is now wells fargo advisors. together, we'll go far. >> chevron. this is the power of human energy. the national science foundation. supporting education and research across all fields of science and engineering. and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and... this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> lehrer: the u.s. economy shed more jobs in september as the unemployment rate kept climbing. margaret warner has our lead story report.
>> warner: the nation's unemployment rate rose to 9.8% in september, the highest in 26 years. employers cut 263,000 jobs, tens of thousands more than economists had predicted. in testimony today, the labor department's keith hall described how far the jobs picture has slid since the recession's onset in december 07. >> a total of 15.1 million persons were unemployed in september, twice the number at the start of the recession. the number of long-term unemployed rose to 5.4 million in september. this group has grown more than fourfold since the start of the recession. >> warner: the official rate is only part of the picture. the so-called "hidden" unemployment rate which includes those who've settled for part- time work or given up looking altogether has hit 17%. president obama noted today that the economy isn't losing jobs as fast as it was a year ago. >> but today's job report is a
sobering reminder that progress comes in fits and start, and we're going to need to grind out this recovery, step by step. employment is always last nothing to come out of recession, but need to do everything we can to accelerate this process. i want every single american to know that i will not let up until those that are seeking work can find work. >> warner: in fredericksburg, virginia, where unemployment is slightly below the national average, some businesses are adding jobs. tony kala manages a hotel: >> i've seen about 50 employees that we hired, that includes full time and part time, that is all local people that were hired from here. >> warner: but elsewhere in town, the recession is still taking a toll. vonda merrill is an event planner. >> i've seen a lot of businesses going out of business and it's sad to see.
a lot of the places that are downtown, you'll see a lot of for rent or for lease signs because a lot of businesses are just closing down. >> warner: jobs numbers weren't the only bad news released this week. amid fears of a drop in consumer spending, factory orders dropped in august by the largest amount in five months. >> warner: for a closer look at today's numbers and the trends they suggest, we turn to: david leonhardt, economics columnist at the "new york times" and jacob kirkegaard, a labor economist and a fellow at the peterson institute for international economics. >> definitely not a rosy picture today. jake october circumstance guard what did today's numbers tell you, about the prospects that we're going to see a jobs recovery soon. >> what i think is fortunate in today's numbers were universally bad. there wasn't a single positive number there. so the short answer is it pushes any sustained recovery further into the future and the prospect that the private sector job
creations, that consumer spending will take over from official stimulus spending, you know, zero interest rates have just been pushed further out. >> how do you see it. >> yeah, it's to the a good report. i mean what we were hoping coming into this report is that, is that we were just going to see more progressive ree month. and that maybe we were still a ways away if getting actual job growth, but that things would be getting better month after month. and in terms of hours worked. in terms of job losses. we saw deterioration this past month. and so it does push further into the future the point at which anything might actually feel healthy. >> in the jobs sector, because this was worse than august, not better. >> that's right. and what's important to remember is that even if this had been better we would still be a long ways away. i mean we are still -- >> bleeding jobs at a pretty steady rate. >> that's exactly right. everyone expect wes still have months more to go of job losses. and so the unemployment rate will rise for months. and so the question is how bad is it during that time.
and how far off is the point at which jobs start growing again. and each of the last few reports is basically giving us reason to wonder, well, maybe it's to the going to go on as long as we had thought. and today was one step back. >> the president today spoke of the historical relationship between economic growth and jobs growth. and that they move one lags behind the other. but there is a pattern. is it too soon to say or can you now say that, in fact, the jobs picture is lagging further behind the economic growth figures than usually, than historically. and if so what does that tell you, what does that mean? >> oh, yeah, i think we are now at a point where we can say what we economists like to say the relationship between how the unemployment rate moves and how the -- the real gdp growth rate moves, has, in fact, are now back to a scenario that we only saw in the mid 70s. and what it suggests is
again, as david also said, is we are moving to a -- being pushed further into the future. but i just want to point out one other thing which i think is slightly understated which is that not only are we still losing jobs, but we keep losing human capital as well. because that's really what the long-term unemployment rate is. that's really still appreciating, it's people not being able to follow through, you know, the new technologies, the new standard operating procedures in their jobs that they previously held. >> meaning that the old maxim you think is true, that the longer you're unemployed, the hard ter is to find work. >> absolutely. the real risk here is that the united states is entering the kind of vicious circle that, you know, quite frankly some european countries saw in the early 1980s. and that is a very, very weak diagnosis. >> "time" magazine had a story early in september in which it raises the question
but was opining that we're entering some kind of new era of near double-digit unemployment. i think it is double-digit unemployment here to stay. do you think we might be? >> no. i mean we might be, right. we don't want to be definite about the economy. but i think the idea that we're heading into a long-term period with unemployment about 10% is fairly unlikely. there are -- there are all kinds of bad dynamics right now, right. people lose their jobs, they spend less and then more people lose their jobs. but that's true in every recession, right. it's always true. and yet we've always gotten out of previous recessions. so our expectation should be that we're going to get out of this recession. and in fact we have a fair amount of stimulus money still coming down the pike in coming months. the natural ability of the economy to snapback should come into play here as well. so i'm not optimistic but i don't think we're entering some sort of new era of double-digit unemployment. >> you don't think there is something structurally wrong. >> well, it depends what you
mean by structurally. i don't think we're going to end up stuck with 10% unemployment for some long period of time. it could be months, and that will feel very unpleasant but i don't think that's the case. i do worry about how quickly we're going to grow in the future. i mean even during the expansion that we just had from 2001 to 2007. economic growth was really mediocre and really disappointing. so i don't think that we're necessarily going to come out of this into some sort of wonderful economic period. but i think the prospect of a long-term double-digit unemployment is by far one of the less likely scenarios here. >> and how do you see that? >> well, i think unfortunately, i will probably take a slightly gloomier look than david because i think we are seeing some very major structural issues at play here. because part of the story that we're seeing is its continuing shredding of jobs in the manufacturing sector. i mean you know, bad as that is, it is not a new story. and the general trend of the
u.s. labor market is a shift towards services sector employment. but the problem is that that story is really starting to fray a little, you know, at the edges. because we are starting to see very significant job losses, also in the traditional kind of high value-added, high skilled services sectorpe jobs that we basically thought was going to power the economy going forward. so you could argue that well actually if this happens in the financial sector, well maybe some people might not think that's a bad idea. but the question remains, is it's just not a clear move into the service sector any more. >> the president said today, he said basically, talked about building a 0% economy where people can get the skills and education they need to compete for the jobs of the future, won't happen overnight. he seemed to be suggesting that the mix of jobs and businesses and industries we have now isn't enough for robust growth. do you think that is what he is suggesting or do you think that's correct? >> he talked about this idea
of building a new foundation that we want, an economy that isn't reliant on bubbles. and we do want that. and the problem is that takes awhile. it probably comes down more than anything to the skills of the workforce. and we have been hifing a real slow down of the growth of the educational attainment of this population. and that's really bad. and so we can't snap our fingers and overnight get to a more skilled, more educated population. and businesses can't snap their fingers and make the investments that are needed for long-term growth. so the one reason to have some hope is that the really good things in the economy you often don't see coming. if you were sitting here in 1992 or 1993 talking about that jobless recovery, none of us would have been saying, you know what, in a few years we're going to have this great thing called the internet. i'm not saying we're going have something new like that. i don't know. but i do think that if we were going to have it we wouldn't necessarily know that we would now. >> very briefly, do you think it will take some new, new thing? >> yes, absolutely. no matter what we do, i mean personally i don't think it
will be green jobs, because that story has been, unfortunately, quite overblown as well. >> well, gloomy and gloomier, david leonhardt, jay koch circumstance guard, thank you. >> lehrer: you can read what our economics correspondent paul solman thinks about today's numbers on our web site, newshour.pbs.org and on newshour extra, there is a lesson plan for teachers about the undercounted unemployed. >> lehrer: in other news today, earthquake rescue teams in indonesia found two women alive underneath the rubble. officials said there could be as many as 3,000 more still trapped in the area around the port city of padang. we have a report from james mates of independent television news. within they know there are people still alive in these buildings, they can hear them. but can they get to them
while they still cling to life? the rescue teams are determined but very nervous and right to be so. here a part of the structure collapses, unfortunately gone where people have been dig. nearby doctors are talking to a 29-year-old woman entomb under what has been a five story school building. she has been there for two days now. a few hours earlier her colleague had been pulled out but her legs are trapped. after several hours the operation worked by both her father and her husband. she is finally free. over 48 hours under the rubble, she is conscious, she could be heard to speak. and she's now on her way to hospital.
>> she has a journey towards english at this school, at least four of her teenage students are dead but clings to the hope that one of her young charges may yet be found. >> last night they still hear the scream asking for help. >> so that is still looking now. >> yeah. and they said that they are going to work now, to find. >> for those who have survived medical care is at very best basic. the building suffered terribly in the quake. her children -- >> waiting another day for an operation to repair his shattered leg. his sister told me so far they don't have x-ray. >> but just a few yards it is seen even worse. roads of body bags lying in the sun. the families of the missing must look inside each one hoping to end their uncertainty and yet dreading what they might find.
at the gates of the makeshift morning they have lifted the identified dead being held her here it is a list that has grown all day and seems certain to keep growing. >> in the sam owean islands >> lehrer: in the samoan islands in the south pacific, the death toll from a deep-sea quake and the tsunami it triggered rose to 169. grieving survivors began burying family members. and officials considered plans for a mass funeral and burial next week. the search for bodies was set to continue for another three weeks. in afghanistan, two american service members were killed in a suicide bombing on their convoy in the south. earlier today, president obama met his top commander in afghanistan aboard air force one in denmark. general stanley mcchrystal talked with the president for 25 minutes, as mr. obama weighs whether to send more troops into the conflict. a video released today gave the first proof an israeli soldier
captured by hamas more than three years ago is still alive. sergeant gilad shalit is seen holding an arabic language newspaper published in mid- september. the 23-year-old said he'd been treated well, but appealed for his release. the video was handed over to israel by hamas in exchange for 19 female palestinian prisoners. after they were freed, they met with palestinian president abbas in ramallah. leaders from both sides expressed encouragement from today's swap. >> even though the path to the release remains long and full of difficulties, the information that he is well and healthy is encouraging to us all. we see that what happened was a small step in the hard process we are going throughment but it brings hope to achieve a good deal between the palestinian resistence and the israeli occupation.
>> lehrer: israel will release one more female palestinian prisoner as part of the deal on sunday. a cbs news employee pleaded not guilty today in an extortion plot against talk show host david letterman. robert halderman, a producer for the program "48-hours" allegedly blackmailed letterman for $2 million to keep information on his personal life secret. letterman exposed the plot on his own show last night. he admitted having sexual relationships with female employees. letterman said he had turned the extortion information over to the new york district attorney, who launched an investigation. on wall street today, stocks slipped slightly on the jobs news. the dow jones industrial average lost more than 21 points to close above 9,487. the nasdaq fell 9 points to close at 2,048. for the week the dow lost 1.8%. the nasdaq fell more than 2%.
>> lehrer: and still to come on the newshour tonight: a health care reform update; shields and brooks; and annette benning back on stage. that follows the big olympics decision. chicago lost its bid to rio de janeiro. ray suarez has our story. >> the games of the 31st olympiad are awarded to the city of rio de janeiro. >> suarez: cheers erupted in rio de janeiro, brazil today as the city won the honor of hosting the 2016 olympic games. a wave of national pride splashed across the beach in copacabana. in the final round of voting by the international olympic committee, rio crushed its competition, madrid, with a vote of 66 to 32. 2016 will be a first, the olympic games have never
been held in south america. brazil's committee touted that fact as a major selling point. >> the biggest upset was an american one. >> the city of chicago having obtained the least number of votes will not participate in the next round. >> some booed and others >> suarez: some booed and others stood in stunned silence at daley plaza in chicago when word came that the windy city was eliminated in the first round. thousands had lined up early this morning hoping for great news. >> i'm really proud to be a chicagoan and i'm upset that people aren't going to be able witness that in 2016. >> why do you think this happened? >> i have no idea, complete shock. >> suarez: reporter eddie aruza of chicago public television station wttw was there. thousands of supporters turned out to cheer for the city but what was not anticipated was that chicago
would be eliminated in the very first round. and now there are many questions being asked about what went wrong. ♪ it's my kind of town ♪ >> suarez: chicago's failure was not for lack of trying, ads like this one were part of a huge campaign put together to showcase the city's many charms. but the highlight of chicago's push was a personal effort by president obama. he flew overnight to join the first lady in copenhagen today for a last minute, high level presentation on behalf of his adopted hometown. >> i urge you to choose chicago, i urge you to choose america. and if you do, if we walk this path together, then i promise you this: the city of chicago and the united states of america will make the world proud. >> i am dreaming of an olympic and paralympic games in chicago that will light up lives and neighborhoods all across america and all across the world.
>> suarez: the president got the sorry news as he returned to washington aboard air force one. at the white house, he praised chicago's efforts to win the games. >> i have no doubt it was the strongest bid possible and i'm proud that i was able to come make that case in person. i believe it's always a worthwhile endeavor to promote and boost the united states of america. >> suarez: chicago mayor richard daley, speaking to reporters this afternoon, was grateful and defended president obama's support. >> this was not a political gamble, this was not a political adventure. this was a commitment on behalf of the city, on behalf of the people of our city on behalf on america to try to get the olympics and paralympics in 2016. >> suarez: after winning in denmark today, brazil's president was ecstatic: >> ( translated ): brazil needed these olympics.
brazil has always been a great country, a important country with an extraordinary people. the brazilian people are extraordinary and they deserve this opportunity. >> suarez: but jubilation in brazil does not reflect the challenges it faces in a long sprint to prepare for the games. along with stunning beaches and scenic mountains, rio is plagued by serious crime, pollution and infrastructure problems, not to mention frequent clashes between drug lords and police. billions will be spent to ensure the area is ready for the world to arrive in 2016. after its selection was announced i spoke to christine brennan without covers the a loim -- the olympics. >> even the most pessimistic forecast didn't have chicago finishing last, at the bottom of the deck. what happened? >> you know, i think it was a simple case of the international olympic committee wanting rio and then in the case of madrid, the president that they cared pore about was not obama, but wanted the former
president of the ioc. they wanted to give him a going away gift and have his city, madrid at least make it a round or two. and then tokyo had a fine presentation with a lot of more emotion than would you have expected from tokyo. and all of a sudden chicago, solid, strong, big shouldered, the obamas were flat. it looked -- and it was so early in the game. the first presentation, by the time the ioc voted, the president was already back over the atlantic it had been a distant memory what was said by chicago. >> for all the personal popularity president and mrs. obama, is the world still a little soar at the united states? did this have more to do with attitudes toward america than towards -- >> i don't know if we can make it that much of a metaphor for u.s. and international relations as much as just the choice of the day and the moment. and the fact the ioc is
unpredictable and mercurial a group as you will ever find, certainly in sports. and you've got the ioc deciding that it wants to ignore financial concerns in this world of ours today and go with the party in rio, then the president, you know, could have stood on his head and i don't think it would have mattered. i thought it was a risk, a political gamble going in. and i think commentators, especially political commentators in our country really did a disservice to consumers of news by saying hey, it must be a done deal, why would obama go otherwise. when in fact the ioc is so confusing, so unpredictable. the same group that got confused and didn't know the difference between baseball and softball and kicked them both out of the olympics. these are the guys who fall asleep during the voting. i mean it is the oldest of the old boys club. aging, euro centric, i just thought they thought thank you president obama for coming and you know, nice to
see you, have a good flight home. >> for all the weaknesses of the chicago bid, is there also an underlying tension between the international olympic committee and the united states olympic committee that would have made the road for any american bid city a tough one? >> the u.s. olympic committee has had a terrible few months vis-a-vis the ioc in dealing with starting its own television network which -- the worse possible time, the ioc got serious that they were doing this. the u.s. had to pull back. and the other that the u.s. olympic committee now has new leadership, completely changed from the people that they had gotten to know for months, beijing games, whatever,. leadership of a whole new group of faces and a world where face time matter, the constant resolving door at the u.s. olympic committee did not do chicago any favors. >> when the ioc scored the four finalss didn't. rio finished last of the four in many of the things
they measured. to check whether a city is ready to host the olympic games so what were they voting for. were they voting for a dream of rio rather than a city that is measured as one of the most dangerous in the world. >> there is no doubt that the ioc today voted for the dream. voted with its heart. as opposed to voting with its head. here you've got incredibly difficult economic times around the world. and just this week rio had to cancel a world cup swimming competition that it was supposed to host this month because it ran out of funding. now you would think that that by itself might tell the ioc you might have to think about this a minute. on one level, it has -- you have to stretch with it and say the ioc said financial concerns, economic global situations, who cares, let's go party in rio, combined with the very, very important and probably the number one selling point for rio is when they showed that map of the world. and there is europe with 30
olympics, winter and summer, and there is north america with 12 olympics winter and summer. and then they show south america, zero. and the ioc is nothing if not a group of dreamers saying hey, we can open up a new continent to the olympic games am and i think at the end of the day that was the biggest consideration for the ioc. >> thanks a lot for talking to us. >> you bet, thank you. >> lehrer: next tonight, senators take a big step forward on health reform. betty ann bowser reports for our health unit, a partnership with the robert wood johnson foundation. >> reporter: bleary-eyed members of the senate finance committee, ended marathon deliberations on health care reform shortly after 2 a.m. this morning. ( applause ) the committee is expected to officially pass the legislation early next week after the congressional budget office crunches the numbers.
committee chairman max baucus said he expects it will cost no more than $900 billion. in a sense, health care reform hit a milestone because never pu& the nation's health care system gone this far, its now on the verge of clearing five different congressional committees. in the closing hours of the senate finance mark up the committee. lowered penalties on americans who do not buy health insurance, from as much as $1,900 a year for a family, down to a maximum penalty of $200 which would could rise to as much as $800 over time. it came after an impassioned plea to lower penalties came from maine's olympia snowe, the one republican who might vote for the bill. >> i just don't understand why there's this impetus to keep driving it in this way to punish
people, now i understand rationality behind individual mandates, certainly we should pay for those who don't have health insurance, but at the same time, it's not as if we >> but why couldn't the average family or the individual to pay ot county. >> reporter: the amendment also, in effect exempts 2 million people from the bill's requirement to buy health insurance, and removes the possibility of criminal penalties if they failed to do so. >> all those in favor say "aye" >> reporter: republicans argued the democrats bill was nothing more than a government takeover of health care, full of unfair taxes.. that debate come to a head yesterday afternoon idaho's mike crapo. so when folks tell you that we're going to reduce your health-care costs, we're going to cut your health insurance premiums, we're going to bend the cost curve down, they're conveniently
neglecting to tell you that they're also going to raise your taxes by $130 billion >> reporter: chairman max baucus insisted the republicans were wrong, >> let me just remind everyone that there is a $40 billion tax cut, tax credits, in exchange >> reporter: there was also a spirited debate between liberal democrats and conservative republicans over whether the bill should have a public insurance option. new york democrat charles schumer. >> this is not an ideaological fight. it is vital to make this bill a good bill, a better bill. >> reporter: although the public option failed, supporters say they'll bring it up again when the bill reaches the senate floor, just one of the sticking
points that still have to be resolved. but in the end baucus held the democratic majority together, and for the most part, got much of what he wanted, including: meanwhile, republicans remain overwhelmingly opposed to all the bills on the table. senate republican minority leader mitch mcconnell summed it up today. with another more liberal bill-passed by the senate health committee in july. it is expected in two weeks.
>> lehrer: and to the analysis of shields and brooks. syndicated columnist mark shields and "new york times" columnist david brooks. let's go the big news first. the chicago news, the olympics to rio. are you one of those pundits that christine brennan was talking about that would see this as a big political loss to the president. >> no, i thought robert siegal of npr had the best line is that the old mayor daley knew how to rig the election. if you can't rig an ioc election, i don't blame barack obama for going. he might as well give it a shot. if we didn't win for whatever reason. so he flew over there, he got to meet stanley mcchrystal, almost the first time he had face time with him. >> lehrer: they met on the -- in an air force one. he was already if europe sow went over there to copenhagen. >> and so you know, i can't get that excited with iran, going on, the economy,
health care. i just can't get that excited. he gave it a shot. >> lehrer: what do you think, mark. >> jim, the old story about chicago is the grandmother who wanted to be buried there didn't live there because she wanted to remain active in politics even after her death. and that's -- >> this is a very old joke. >> it is the old chicago legend that they are good at politics. and certainly it was proved in 2008 and ot bam -- obama campaign. it came from nowhere, a first term senator, beat the face cards of the democratic party, won the highest percentage of the popular vote of any democrat other than franklin roosevelt and lyndon johnson in the history of the country. and this was confidence, not shattering, but it was confidence shaking. all, this afternoon all people were talking about was why did they go there. doesn't anybody count? where is the campaign manager, at least he could count. and they started --. >> lehrer: in other words, he should have known that
the count was going to be before he went. if you can win it, don't go. >> exactly. you've got finity political capital. how do you spend it. and they point to three examples of where the question of how it's being spent. last week, an awkward, clumsy attempt by the white house to try and get david paterson, the unpopular and succeed unelected democratic governor of new york not to run. figure are prints all over it. and you don't succeed in et going him out of the race. this week in betine's piece, the public option comes up in the senate finance committee. the president is committed to it. make no calls. make no -- the white house doesn't lift a finger. saying wait a minute, where are they. i mean you want to know where people are and then today, it's a question quite honestly of saying is there somebody in charge here. are there too many loose ends. >> lehrer: clearly, david, mark sees this as a much more serious event.
>> i guess if you put it into part of a story line of a wol series of things they are to the doing so great on t is true, i ran into some senators earlier in the week. they all assumed we had it in the bag. >> lehrer: everybody. >> there no way we go if we didn't have it in the bag. >> yeah, he wouldn't have gone. >> i heard that tuesday night on -- he is to the getting on a plane until the votes are there. and say what you want, i mean it was pretty impressive how rio went from the second ballot to 46 votes. i mean we weren't even in it. >> lehrer: chicago had 18. i mean they were -- >> the obama method seems to be try a lot of things. somebody couldn'ted up the number of major initiatives the obama put together, i think it was like 154. they are trying a lot of things. they're to the going to win on them all. and i would say on the whole, setting policy aside just in terms of getting things passed i don't think you could fault him for insurance at this point. they did pass the stimulus where it worked at this point. they are doing pretty well with health care if you just count passage. so i agree that there have
some stumbles and today was one of the bad days. but i still don't think you can draw a story line of incompetence. >> lehrer: let's talk specifically about the betty ann bowser's piece about what the senate finance committee did. big step forward. do you think this is going to finally -- both of you have said many times now that eventually something's going to be passed. whats this a big step forward? >> we're revindicateed. >> lehrer: revindicated? >> yeah. retro revindicateed. you know, i think this is another step towards passage. it looks a lot more likely. the concern i have substantively, the concern i have had all along, are we simply going to add on to a dysfunctional health-care system or reform. >> actually fix this. >> and last night there was a big step backwards. there was this amendment. >> lehrer: the senator from oregon. >> democrat which was to give people more choice, create more competition which according to cbo and many other was actually bring down costs and create
a dynamic. and that was beat. and ron widen has wolfed himself up and said if this is in the in there i'm not voting for this thing. he hasn't quite said but that certainly indicated that. while the thing certainly took a step forward, all it takes is one enthusiastic democrat to really pull it back. >> so it's not a done deal, mark. >> it's not, no. five committees as betty ann said in the piece have passed it. three in the house, two in the senate, but where we are right now, jim, the still nagging questions remaining unresolved. is there going to be some sort of a public entity, call it what you want. whether it's triggered or as it comes in, it forces the competition and forces the insurance companies to keep their prices down. >> lehrer: you mean something different than the coop rative. >> something different than the coop rative. >> the senate finance committee is not as liberal as the senate. i mean they lost five of the 13 senate democrats on the
public option. that is not, that is 38% by my arithmetic. they are not going to lose 38% in the senate. by report on the hill this week, between 52 and 55 democratic senators, four public options. so the question, there is a lot of other questions. the first one is in the house. it passed three different bills. ways and means, education and labor committee and henry maxman -- waxman's congress committee. speaker pelosi would boil that down to one. it would be her bill. well, the democrats in the senate, she is listing everybody. don't get me wrong. she is tireless in listening to everybody. there is no one who has -- >> she has come up with a bill. >> the senate comes up with a bill. >> the senate comes up with a single bill. and the argument then is this. that at that point the president should intervene. and the president should bring them all parties, interested parts to the white house for the equivalent of a summit and
say i want one bill. we're going to come out of here with one bill because what you would like to do, ideally, is vote once in the senate house and the senatement you don't want to go to conference. you don't want to go, put people through. tough, difficult, painful political vote with nothing. >> you think he wants to get 60 votes or 52. there are two ways to pass it. >> you can get 60 votes is very simp el you have to get -- harry reid has to get an agreement on procedural votes that if there is a -- if there is a filibuster on any issue that all 60 will vote to cut that filibuster off. and that -- >> no matter what their positns are. >> that's right. >> you can vote your own conscious, your own con city. >> ee on the issue itself. but if they are going to try and filibuster an issue, that i have to have your vote. >> that make sense to you. >> i guess so. i just think it's a huge advantage to get 60 on the subset. i think people are going to still be nervous. we have had all this debate, the summer and then the debate. the public is still
extremely skeptical and still extremely skeptical in swing states. and if i'm impressed that mark thinks there are 52 to 55 votes for the public option. i believe that. but that is because the general view is there are a lot more senate democrats who didn't think, who didn't support the public option. but if they can get that, i still think there is going to be a high degree of skepticism for voting for a health-care bill that includes all that with the spending, with issues that really haven't been explored in the public mind. if are you making over $66,000 and you don't have a health-care plan, you are going to be forced to buy one at tremendous personal cost. that has not really hit home yet to a lot of americans. they are still political hurdles to cross. >> many debates still to come, in other words, is the iran talks. the president called it a constructive beginningment you agree? >> yes. >> do you agree? >> no. >> okay. let's go -- no, i definitely do. i mean i think that the fact
that russia and france and the united states are going to -- enriched uranium of iran to russia, and i think obviously expectations alone but i think there is a chance now to put some real pressure on iran, on this issue, to enlist all six countries in it. and to hold them accountable. but i -- the fact that we're sitting down, talking for the first time in 30 years face-to-face, i think is encouraging. i think is positive. >> that is encouraging, the discouraging part was a few months ago. okay okay stole the -- ahmadinejad stole the election and people were marching, doubting the legitimacy. we were not granting them legitimacy. that is over. now we are granting legitimacy. we are pretending all that stuff with the riots just never happened is so we are sitting down with its regime. we have given them that. we have given them a concession. they have given something, they made gesture, whether
it is what we have done for them, granting legitimacy, i think they are a long way from that. >> lehrer: what would have been the alternative, in other words, to granting legit mass he. >> i'm fine with talking with them. i think we should always be talking about the legitimacy of a regime. i think the obama administration has gone too far to push that under the rug. and second, i just think we have to have a sanctions we have to have more leverage as we go there which we do not have there. we do not have -- i'm all for talking with them. >> i don't question those -- the il legitimacy of the election. at the same time, we're talking about sending another 40,000 american troops, seriously debating that to a country where the election was just stolen. >> lehrer: afghanistan. >> which was an il legitimate government. >> lehrer: which is what i would ask you last. >> i anticipated. >> lehrer: well done, well done, mark. but where do things stand? this tarmac conversation that the president with mcchrystal in copenhagen and
that, and everybody is kind of waiting for the president to make a decision. is he going to make one and should he make one quickly or -- >> you can't accuse him of being impulsive. he doesn't shoot from the hip. this is an extended process, no doubt about it. it is complicated by the fact that general mcchrystal is his man. only the second time since harry truman and mcarthur is a command never the field and combat been relieved of his dutys and placed in there. so his man. and the point was today was the first time he has talked to them face-to-face, 25 minutes on the tarmac, and the front compartment of air force one. i don't know. he says he doesn't want to violate the chain of command, that is the white house explanation. >> goes through the secretary. >> chairman of the joint chiefs. >> i think that secretary gates is going to be very, very influential in this decision. >> lehrer: do you agree. >> right. they had an 18 people in the
situation room i think for three and a half hours this week. and mcchrystal and such are the -- they make the argument for the surge, if you want to call it that. vice president biden makes the argument against. so i think it actually appropriate to have this debate. i wouldn't rush them it is an important debate. the only two things i would say is there is only one thing to beat an insurgency as far as we know and history show that is what he is talking about. if they have historical records to show on easier way to do t i wish they would announce it. the secretary thing and the thing that disturbed me in one of their stories today about that meeting were some people more on the biden side came out and said well one thing we've established is the taliban can take over av ban stand. that doesn't mean al qaeda will come back. and to me they are already spinning deat the time. if they are saying the taliban takeover wouldn't son bad, that is not --. >> lehrer: we have to go, thank you both very much. >> lehrer: finally tonight, a hollywood star takes on one of
theater's toughest roles. jeffrey brown has our report. >> reporter: the story is an old one in age: nearly 2,500 years, and in plot: a scorned wife who seeks revenge after her husband leaves her for another woman. >> he was everything to me. and now he's the vilest man aliveç5 >> reporter: but euripides' "medea" takes revenge to a shocking extreme killing her two children, and the role remains one of theater's most challenging. >> for one short day, forget. then the -- >> >> reporter: appearing in a new production at 'ucla live' in los angeles, annette bening says the
key is connecting to shared human emotions. >> i think most of us have faced a germ of what the great roles have. most of us have fallen in love. i think most of us have felt betrayed, most of us have betrayed someone. >> reporter: the production came about when bening met croatian theater director lenka udovicki at a dinner party. the two women, both working moms, hit it off immediately. >> we started to talk and then we just couldn't stop talking, basically. >> reporter: were you talking about medea? you were talking about doing something together? >> we were talking about everything else, about. >> our families, our children. i have four children, she has three children. i have one husband. she has one husband. ( laughs ) >> reporter: that annette bening has a husband, warren beatty, is of course known to all. she's a leading hollywood celebrity, and an acclaimed film actress.
>> you are seeing it. >> reporter: first getting attention in early movies like "the grifters". later nominated for academy awards for performances in "american beauty". >> your father seems to think this behavior is something to be proud of. >> reporter: and "being julia". >> perhaps we should punish you. >> reporter: but hard to believe now, she didn't act in a film until she was nearly 30. her career, and passion for acting, began in the theater. >> i saw a shakespeare play when i was in junior high and i just fell in love with the theatre because for me it was a combination of big ideas and feelings. >> reporter: big ideas, feelings. >> feelings. so it's, when it's at its best, you're carrying the large ideas, but with emotion. so it reaches a different part of us. i mean i love to read the classics. but that's different. that's a private experience. when i went to the theater when i was a kid i was just like 'wow'. i loved the voices of the actors and i loved the sweat and i loved the silliness and i loved that it was right in the room.
>> reporter: after college, bening trained and then performed with the 'american conservatory theater' in san francisco, taking on classic roles: shakespeare, chekhov, shaw, and much else. >> that thing! >> reporter: when she appeared in her first film, "the great outdoors", in 1988, it took some adjusting to the big screen. >> i really felt like a stage actor pretending i was a movie actor for a long time. >> reporter: really? >> yeah, i did. i didn't understand it. i was afraid of seeing myself. i wasn't used to it. i was used to being where i never had to actually deal with looking at myself. or what my face looked like when i felt a certain thing. you know how it is when you hear your voice on an answering machine and you think, 'oh god'. well it's like that on camera. you look at yourself. oh wow. that's hard. >> i'll take none of your favors. they're foul. i spit on them.
>> reporter: of course, getting 'medea' right isn't easy either. she's a woman of enormous, even magical, powers, suddenly feeling utterly powerless, in the very same moment loving and hating her husband jason played here by scottish actor angus macfadyen. >> go on. get to your new bride. don't waste your time out here. udovicki's production uses 25 tons of sand and a high concrete wall, to create a kind of timeless, placeless feel. 12 women, ucla students, serve as the greek chorus, who try to convince medea not to go through with her plan. >> how else can jason learn? >> chorus: such bitterness you'll taste. >> reporter: if you say 'medea' to most people the one-liner would be, "the crazy woman who kills her kids", right? >> yes. >> reporter: so you have to find a way to make it more than that.
>> my hope is that there is a logic, a terrible logic, but there is a logic. and i think that, you know, most of us who stay within a boundary of what's 'normal' don't really know what it's like for the people that cross over that boundary. that i think is what euripides understood, what i guess i feel is that there is something that happens in those people that is emotionally true for them. >> reporter: you obviously don't have to do this anymore. i mean, you don't have to be on the stage. >> no. >> reporter: so why are you doing it? >> well, part of it's just for me. part of it, i want my children to see this because it's how i started as an actor and it's
very important to me that they see what i do. i feel lucky that i'm able to pursue the work that i love. i want my children to see that. i want them to have that for themselves. something that they love, that they do, that they pursue in their life as a way of growing and learning. and that's the thing about being an actor. you're always learning. you always have something new to try to understand, to try to communicate, that's larger than yourself. >> reporter: there's a line in the play, i don't know if it stood out for you the way it stood out for me, where you say: >> in public, in private, it's hard to get it right. >> reporter: in public, in private, it's hard to get it right. >> yes, yes. >> reporter: i mean, that's euripides and that's annette bening. >> that's for all of us, isn't it? those of us who are actors, of course, play that out more.
we're sort of the personification of that. which is why people project so many things onto actors. but it's the same for everybody. everybody has a public life and they have their own private life. everybody has their secrets. everybody has their own private agonies as well as joys. and that's what great drama, whether it's the movies or it's theater, that what it shows. that's why we try to bring a play like this to life. >> reporter: annette bening has two new films ready to come out. her performance as 'medea' runs through october 18. ( applause ) >> lehrer: again, the major developments of the day: the nation's unemployment rate rose to 9.8% in september, its
highest level in 26 years. and rio de janeiro, brazil won the bid to host the 2016 summer olympic games. on newshour.pbs.org an online- only feature tonight. an art beat conversation with francine prose, the author of a new book about the literary legacy of anne frank and her diary. >> i means that's something that i think hasn't been said enough. and it is an historical document and it a record but it is also a work of art. i mean i think one of the reasons that people resist to see it that way is it is hard for people to get their minds around the fact that a 15-year-old girl could be a literary genius. >> and you could find >> lehrer: you can find that conversation with francine prose on our art beat page. we'll see you on-line and again here monday evening. have a nice weekend. i'm jim lehrer. thank you and good night. major funding for the newshour with jim lehrer is provided by:
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